By Joseph Autilio
Executive Director, Board of Registration
Below, the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons answers queries by agents in the field regarding real estate licensing in Massachusetts.
Application Renewal Mishaps
Q. I was renewed as “inactive” on my license. Why?
A. One persistent problem at the Board is the failure of licensed agents to answer the continuing education question on their license renewal application which asks whether you have completed the required 12 hours
of continuing education. The instructions with the renewal application clearly note that if you fail to answer the question it will be assumed that your
answer is “no” and, therefore, your license will—in accord with the relevant law—be renewed as “inactive.” This means that you cannot practice as a real estate agent, with the exception of earning referral fees.
Once they receive their inactive notice status from the Board, they call noting that they have done the continuing education and thought they
answered the question.
The Board recognizes that licensees are busy, trying to make a living and exist in this challenging economy. The Board also recognizes that time is often in short supply. But the renewal application sent to you every two years is quite short. In fact, even the written instructions sent with it are fairly short.
The Board urges licensees to please take the time to read the instructions and complete the short renewal application so that it can properly renew those licensees who complete their 12-hour continuing education requirement as “active,” thereby permitting them to fully practice their livelihood.
Timely Affiliation Reporting
Q. What problems can occur from inaccurate affiliation reporting?
A. Affiliations and changes thereto are often not reported. Often when they are reported the actual time period of an affi liation is inaccurate. Typically the Board will receive an affiliation report from a broker stating that a particular salesperson worked for a specifi ed time period. During
part or sometimes most of the reported time period, the salesperson’s license was actually expired. Needless to say, one cannot legally practice with an expired license and the time during which the license was expired cannot be counted for affi liation purposes.
This becomes a particular problem when a salesperson is trying to become a broker and learns that the one-year affiliation requirement was not
satisfied since they went to work for a broker and failed at some point to renew their license. Indeed, the Board has seen situations where the broker
reporting the affiliation has an expired license.
The Board urges all agents to make sure their license is current if they plan on using it. A good time to do this is when an agent affiliates with a broker. Both the broker and the agent should call the Board or go to www.state.ma.us/re
to ensure that they both have a current license.
For a list of upcoming continuing education course dates and locations, visit the Professional Development section of marealtor.com